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Bruins 3, Penguins 0

By Dave Molinari 6 years ago

A quick look at the Penguins’ 3-0 loss to Boston at TD Garden Wednesday night:

*** Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask turned aside 34 shots, as the Penguins failed to score a goal for the third time in 30 games this season. “We have to find a way to just score some ugly ones,” center Sidney Crosby said. “Once we get one or two, hopefully, the floodgates open up for us. We can’t let it bother us, but at the same time, we can’t accept it.”

*** The Penguins have scored on one of 79 shots during Mike Sullivan’s two games as coach, and he seems to think he knows at least part of the problem. “We have to do a better job of playing smarter,” he said. “I think we’re playing hard. Our energy is there. Our effort is there. Sometimes, we don’t play as smart as we can, and we turn pucks over in the wrong areas of the rink, and it makes for a hard game, because you end up on the wrong side of the puck. You end up chasing the game a little bit.”

*** The Penguins haven’t won consecutive games since Nov. 17-19, which complicates the challenge of making up ground in the playoff race. “It’s hard to come back in this league,” winger David Perron said. “There are so many teams that are so close and everyone thinks they’re still in the [race]. You want to establish yourself as a playoff team early on. Over the next little while, until early January, we have to make sure we gather a lot of points for our team to climb back up in the standings. We see our team as a team that can be at the top of the division, and we certainly have to prove it.”

*** Boston got the only goal it needed when ex-Penguin Max Talbot beat goalie Jeff Zatkoff with a wrist shot from above the right dot at 9:52 of the opening period. “I just read the release a little late,” Zatkoff said. “He made a good shot. He probably shot a little quicker than I thought.” Talbot’s goal was his first in 11 games with the Bruins and his first in 29 games, since Feb. 28.

*** The Penguins are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games in Boston.

*** Jimmy Hayes and Ryan Spooner got the other Bruins goals. Spooner scored into an empty net during a power play at 17:17 of the third period.

*** Penguins center Nick Bonino missed the game because of illness, and several teammates are dealing with more pressing physical issues. The Penguins aren’t expected to get No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, their best player this season, or Kris Letang, their most celebrated defenseman, back until sometime after the NHL’s holiday break next week No target date for either to return has been announced, but both figure to return before right winger Beau Bennett, who is projected to miss 4-6 weeks because of undisclosed injury sustained during the Penguins’ 4-1 loss to Washington Monday.

*** The Penguins are in a 0-2-1 skid and haven’t had a lead in any of those games.

*** Defenseman Trevor Daley logged 18 minutes, 40 seconds of ice time in his Penguins debut, and expressed confidence that his teammates would regain their scoring touch: “We have to find ways to get pucks to the net, find ways to create some offense. It’s going to come. These guys are world-class hockey players. Very soon, it’s going to come for these guys.”

*** Crosby, on the Penguins’ waning offensive confidence: “If you’re scoring four or five a game, obviously you have that in the back of your mind that you can do that at will. We haven’t done that consistently. That’s something a team builds over the course of a year.”

*** Left winger Conor Sheary made his NHL debut. He is the 15th U.S.-born player to play for the Penguins this season, tying the franchise record set in 2010-11.

*** The Penguins and Bruins will meet again Friday at 7:08 p.m. at Consol Energy Center.